Remembering Karl Young, Founder of IRIE FM

Today (June 10) marks 14-years since the passing of IRIE FM’s founder, Karl Young.

Mr. Young, who was loved and respected for his genius, wisdom, happy nature, and infectious wit, also created ZIP 103 FM.

Karl Young’s career as a reggae pioneer has been characterized by innovation dating back to his days as owner and operator of the Kon Tiki Restaurant in St. Ann’s Bay in the 1960’s, and ‘Boonoonoonoos Nights’ in the 1970’s.

During the 80’s, when all-inclusive hotels began to dominate Jamaica’s tourism scene, Mr. Young ventured into music production with Grove Music, which recorded the movie soundtrack for ‘The Little Mermaid’, along with Grammy-winning albums, such as ‘Calling Rastafari’ by Burning Spear.

On August 1, 1990, Karl Young launched the all-Reggae station, IRIE FM, which revolutionized the Jamaican music landscape and pushed Reggae to higher heights on the world stage.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) in 2002.

In 2010, Karl Young was honoured posthumously for his contribution to broadcasting and the promotion of reggae music

In 2016, he was also awarded a posthumous prize by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) for his contribution to the Reggae industry.

Karl Young died on June 10, 2010.


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